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Bridge: Contract and Auction

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Cribbage and How it is Played

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Parlor Games for All

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Two-Handed Pinochle  (Turn-Up Trump)

Although not played as often as three-and four-handed  versions of the game, two-handed Pinochle is in my opinion the one game of the family demanding of the player the most in skill.  No, I’ll go further than that: In this game there is more room and need for strategy than in any other two-handed game currently being played.  In most  two-handed games, including Gin Rummy, a lucky beginner Canasta occasionally hold his own against an expert in a session lasting over several hours.  In two-handed Pinochle the element of skill is decisive, over the short or the long run.


  1. Two players.
  2. A standard Pinochle deck.  For description of the Pinochle deck, rank of cards and suits, value of melded cards, rules for melding, and value of cards won in tricks see General Rules for Pinochle.

Object of the Game. To score 1,000 or more points before one’s opponent and thus to win the game. The value of melded cards and the value of cards taken by winning tricks in successive hands or deals are added until the winning score has been accumulated.
The Stakes, if Desired.  X being what you think you can afford, the game is played for X cents or X dollars per 1,000 points, which is game. Most players let the stakes range from 25 cents to $1 a game.
Scorekeeper. Selection of the scorekeeper is by mutual consent. If there’s a kibitzer, he usually keeps score. It’s best to use a pencil and paper memory is not entirely trust worthy in a fast running game. The score-keeper enters under each player’s name on the sheet his scores as they are made Player A wins a trick and melds 20 points. The 20 is entered immediately under his name on the sheet. Player B wins a trick and melds 40 points. His 40 is forthwith posted to his credit. Totals are computed at the completion of each hand, and the play proceeds until one column or the other totals 1,000 points or more and a winner is declared. Note: Some players in scoring drop the last digit from their running account. For example, a 40 meld, is entered as 4, a 20 as 2, etc. Under this system, of course, the poker winning score is 100.
And here’s another way to score, using poker chips. Each player gets the following
Nine blue chips, each valued at 100 points; Four red chips, each valued at 20 points. Two white chips, each valued at 10 points.  Each player keeps his chips at his right. When he makes a meld he switches to his left side chips equal in point value to that meld. Likewise, when he counts his points won in tricks, he switches chips from his right-hand stack to his left-hand stack equal in value to the points won. When the chips on his right side are exhausted he has scored 1,000 points.
The Deal. After the cards are shuffled by the dealer and cut by the nondealer, they are dealt four at a time, alternately, first to the dealer’s opponent and then to himself, until each has 12 cards. The next card dealt from I the top of the deck, which is the twenty-fifth, card, is placed on the table face up. The rest of the stock goes down next to the upturned card, but the stock is fanned out to facilitate drawing from it. Players alternate, hand by hand, in dealing.
How Trump Is Determined. The trump suit in two-handed Pinochle is determined by the suit of the upcard,  the twenty-fifth card. If this card, face up on the table, is a club, the trumps for this hand is clubs and so on. If the twenty-fifth card is a nine, it’s called the deece of trumps and the dealer is immediately credited in the scoring with 10 points.

Beginning the Play

  1. The nondealer plays first. He may lead off (start the game) by taking any card he elects from his hand and playing it face up on the table.
  2. The dealer plays next. He may play any card he elects on his opponent’s face-up lead-off card.

In this phase of the game, the player is not required to follow the same suit as his opponent nor is he required to trump should he fail to have a card of the suit led by his opponent. But it must be borne in mind that, in order to gain points, a player must win tricks because: (a) he can meld only after winning a trick; (b) points won in tricks are tallied at the end of the hand.
To win a trick means: (a) to play to a trick a higher-ranking card of the same suit as your opponent’s card, be it a trump or a non- trump suit; (b) if your opponent has led a card of a nontrump suit, to playa card of higher rank in the same suit or to play a trump card (c) if two cards of the same rank and suit are played, to win the trick by having played the first card.

  1. The player who wins a trick gathers the cards won and puts them face down in front  of himself. In no circumstances during the play poker may a player look through the cards he has won in tricks.
  2. The winner of the first trick is thereafter entitled to meld if he has a meld in his hand and chooses to meld. It is not compulsory that he meld if he doesn’t elect to do so. He is allowed only one meld for each trick won. A meld is a combination of cards (see Standard Values of Melded Cards), having special scoring values, that are played face up on the table.
  3. If the winner of the first trick has the deece in his hand, he may exchange it for the face-up trump card doing this counts as a meld however, he may make any other meld simultaneously with this exchange. When he exchanges the deece for the upcard he is credited with 10 points on his score. A deece can be melded any time after a player wins a trick, with or without another meld. Note: If the deece was not turned up by the dealer and was not used in exchange by the winner of the first trick, then the upcard may be taken at any time by the winner of any trick for score of 10 points if he holds the deece in his hand.
  4. After the first-trick winner has picked up the trick and has melded (or not melded), he now picks a card from the stock. The meld must be down before the card is picked; melds cannot be laid down after picking from the stock.
  5. A card that has been melded may be put into play at any time. It is still considered part of the player’s hand, although exposed.
  6. The first-trick winner’s opponent now takes a card from the stock. Each has played one card to the trick. Each has drawn a fresh card. Each still holds 12 cards.
  7. The winner of the first trick leads off for the next trick. Play continues as described above. To summarize: nondealer plays a card, opponent plays a card, winner takes the trick and is entitled to meld winner picks a card from the stock, opponent takes a card from the stock, winner leads off anew. This goes on until the stock is exhausted.
  8. The winner of the last trick takes the last card from the stock. The loser takes the upcard by this time the deece, or nine of trump but no score is credited now for this deece as it has already been scored for one player or the other.
  9. Now each online poker player picks up his melds, and holds them in his hand. Once again each player has 12 cards.

Special Rules for Melding. The following are special rules for melding that are usually enforced:

  1. Only the winner of a trick may meld.
  2. Only one meld may be made at a time, except that a deece may be melded alone or with any other meld.
  3. No meld may be made after a card has been taken from the stock.
  4. After the stock is exhausted and the last stock card and upcard have been taken, no melds may be made.
  5. A card used in one marriage meld cannot be used in another marriage meld.
  6. A player may meld a roundhouse in two-handed Pinochle only by melding it all ‘at once. He may meld kings separately, three marriages separately and then queens (in any: order) but that is not a roundhouse, totaling’ at most only 220 points.
  7. If dealer turns up a nine (deece) as the twenty-fifth card he gets score credit for 10 points.
  8. The winner of any trick, holding the deece, may exchange it for the upturned trump card, and is credited with 10 points.
  9. The holder of the second deece (nine of trump suit) is also credited with 10 points if he melds the deece.
  10. Loser of the last trick, who automatically draws the deece, is credited with no points for it.

Rules for Drawing from the Stock. The following are rules for drawing from the stock:

  1. If a player fails in his turn to draw a card, the deal is void because that player now has one less than the legal number of cards craps in his hands.
  2. If a player draws two cards instead of one, he may replace the second card on the stock if he hasn’t seen it he has seen it he must show his own card to his opponent.
  3. If a player has drawn out of turn, the drawn card must be returned to the pack. If that card properly belongs to his opponent, the player must show his next drawn card to the opponent.
  4. A player is permitted to count the number of cards left in stock but in no circumstances may he alter their order.

Second Turn in Playing the Hand. When the stock is exhausted and the players have picked up their melds, play is continued. But there is a change, as follows, in the play of tricks:

  1. The winner of the last trick before the stock ran out leads off any card.
  2. His opponent is obliged, if he has it, to play a card of the same suit as the leadoff. If he does not have such a card, he must playa trump card. (A trump card wins the trick against any card of any other suit.) If a trump is led, the opponent must playa higher-ranking trump, if possible if he cannot do so, he still-must playa trump card if he has one. Only when he has no trumps at all may he playa card of another suit. When two trump cards   are played, the having the higher value wins the trick.  When two cards of the same suit and value are played, the first card played wins the trick.
  3. If the opponent does not have a card of the same suit as the leadoff card and does not have a trump card, he may play any other card in his hand. 

Play contains in accordance with these rules until all the tricks are played and each player has exhausted the cards in his hand. Winner of the last trick is credited with 10 points added to his score.
            Renege.  After the stock has run out and play for the tricks is in progress, a renege takes place if a player (a) fails to follow the suit of the card led when he Canasta; (b) fails to trump when he has a trump and does not have any cards of the suit led;  (c) fails to play a higher trump when he Canasta, trump being led.  His opponent canasta poker call attention to any of these failures and, at any time during or after the hand is played, canasta claim a renege.  In any case the reneger the player who failed to follow the rules loses his entire count of cards made in tricks and his opponent gets credit for 250 points, the total count of cards won in tricks.  The player who reneged, however, retains his melds and their scoring values.
            Declaring the Winner.  Successive hands are dealt until one or both players score 1,000 or more points.  The player who reaches   1,000 or more points is the winner, and the game is over.  If (as occasionally happens) both players reach 1,000 points, the one with the higher score wins.  If (as more rarely happens) the players   are tied at some score higher than 1,000 points, one or more extra hands are dealt  until the tie is broken; then the player with the higher score wins.
            As long as neither player has 1,000 points, the game continues and a new hand is dealt.  The deal changes with each new hand, the player who dealt the last hand becoming the next nonedealer.
            Variation in Declaring the Winner:   The Call-Out.  The Call-out is legal only if it has been mutually agreed upon before the game starts.  If, at any time before all the cards have been played, a player thinks he has scores 1,000 points or more, he may call.  When he calls, the game ends forthwith, immediately.  Then, if that player Canasta prove he has right in calling (i.e., that his score is 1,000 or more he wins the game.  But if he is wrong if his no matter what his opponent’s score is.  A player may call at any time during the game. 
            Other Ways to Win.   Although a score of 1,000 points or more is the accepted criterion  for winning at two-handed Pinochle, some players prefer one of these alternatives.  (Note: For a variation in scoring to be used legally it must be agreed  upon before the start of the game.)

  1. One hand is dealt and the player scoring the most points in that hand wins.  In case of a tie score, a new hand (or hands) is dealt until the tie is broken.  Under this scoring system, players either keep a running score with pencil and paper or tally the score mentally.  Example: Player A melds 20 points.  Player B melds 40 points.  Player B doesn’t announce his 40 he merely says, “I have 20, right?” Players add and subtract as the hand develops until the last card of the stock has been picked.  The player who has the plus credit then adds the points to his count in cards.
  2. It may be decided  before play starts that the winning total shall be not 1,000 but 1,250 or 1,500 or4 2,000 points.  When the winning total runs into such high numbers as these, it is usual and wise to keep score with pencil and paper.

Additional Rules for Two-Handed Pinochle

Misdeals. There must be a new shuffle and cut whenever a misdeal occurs.  The same dealer deals again.  Here is how to determine whether or not a misdeal has occurred:

  1. If one or more cards are exposed in cutting or reuniting cut spit card variants, there is a misdeal.
  2. If the pack has not been offered to the nondealer to be cut and the nondealer has not yet picked a card from the stock, there is a misdeal.  But, if the nondealer has picked a card from the stock, there is not a misdeal: The deal stands.
  3. If one or more cards are exposed  face up in the pack and the nondealer has not yet picked a card from stock, there is a misdeal.
  4. But if the nondealer has picked a card from the stock and one or more cards are observed face up in the pack, there is not a misdeal, and the player whose turn it is must take the face-up card.
  5. If the dealer exposes one or more of his own cards on the deal, there is not a misdeal.  If the dealer exposes one or more of the non-dealer’s cards, there is a misdeal.
  6. If the nondealer exposes one or more of his own cards on the deal, there is not a misdeal.
  7. If either player exposes one or more of his own cards during the game, there is not a misdeal.
  8. If it is found that an imperfect pack is being used, a pack containing insufficient or duplicate (extra) cards, in violation of the rules on the Pinochle deck, play must stop immediately on the discovery.  That hand is a dead hand and does not count, although all the previous hands are legal.
  9. If either dealer or nondealer has been dealt fewer or more than 12 cards on the deal or if the cards have been dealt in any manner other than stipulated under the rules of the game there is a misdeal.

Incorrect Melds.  If a player lays down an improper meld or credits himself when melding with more or less points than is proper, he may correct the error, and there is no penalty.  An incorrect meld or a credit for more or less points than correct on a legal meld may be corrected at any time before the last card is drawn from stock.  After that the error cannot be rectified.
            If a player lays an improper meld, he is allowed to replace the cards involved in his hand.  A player  cannot meld if he has too few  or too many cards in his hand.

Drawing a card from the Stock. The following rules cover slips of the hand when drawing a card from the stock:

  1. If in his turn of play a player fails to draw a card and his opponent has already picked a card from stock and put it in his hand, then the former draws two  cards in his next legal turn of play played poker to give himself a legitimate hand of twelve cards.
  2. If a player draws two or more cards instead of the legal one, he puts the extra cards instead of the legal one, he puts the extra cards back on the stock in their proper order.  If he has looked at the cards he picked by mistake, he must show them to his opponent, and in addition must show his legally drawn card to his opponent.  After the cards have been shown, they go back on the stock in their original order.
  3. If a player has too many cards in his hand, he draws no more until his hand is reduced to the legal number by discarding.
  4. If a player has too few cards in his hand, he draws enough cards in his   hand, he draws enough cards in his next turn to bring his hand up to the legal number.
  5. If a player draws a card out of turn he may put it back on the stock-provided  he has not looked at it.  If he has looked at it, he gives the cards to his opponent, but must then show the card he draws properly. If both players draw the wrong card, the play stands it is a legal play.
  6. If on the last draw three cards are left instead of two that is, two face-down cards and the upturned trump card the winner of the trick must take the turned trump card.  The extra card is taken by the player who has hand with one card missing.  There is no penalty when this occurs, nor is a misdeal declared.

Looking Through Cards Taken in Tricks.  If he has not yet played his card for the following trick, a player may look at the  last trick gathered in this rule holds regardless of which player won the last trick.  In no other circumstances is looking through the cards permitted, except when looking through tricks to determine whether a player has reneged.  There is no enforceable penalty for an infraction of this rule.  crooked players, when they want to look through the cards, will simply allege that their opponent has reneged.  To prevent this, it may be agreed upon before the play begins that examination of the tricks for a renege shall be allowed only on completion of the play of the hand.  further, any player who violates the above rule by looking through his tricks shall (by prior agreement) lose  his count in cards.

Strategy at Two-Handed Pinochle.  The well-trained memory plays a vital role in two-handed Pinochle.  Accurate card memory is important in any game involving the play of cards to successive tricks thus it is important in any pinochle game .  But the two-handed version is especially demanding because, during any one hand, each player  must handle 24 cards many more than at any other variant.  Playing accurately and intelligently to 24 tricks puts a high premium on the disciplined memory.

Card Memory.  There is no shortcut to the development of a vivid and dependable card  memory.  Because I’ve practiced hours a day for many years, I can remember just about where every card in the deck is through successive shuffles and cuts; but this is regarded as unusual. Yet I know  several players with as unusual.  Yet I know several players with no marked intellectual talents who can remember virtually all the cards played at Pinochle up to the time the stock is exhausted whereupon, after due consideration of their  own hand, they know exactly what 12 cards their opponent holds.
            How is it done?  Well, how do you know, when riding in a bus or railroad train and when riding in a bus or railroad train and reading a paper or just dozing along, when you’ve  reached your corner? What is the mental machinery that, quite independently of any conscious effort on your part, ticks off the corners and stations and jogs you when the total is your number?  The human mind is a remarkable adding machine.  All it requires is housebreaking.
            Psychologists tell us that a normal memory notices and marks down everything the senses perceive.  You don’t have to think to have a remarkable memory.  All you have to do is start trying.  Let me suggest ways to start:

  1. At first, try to concentrate on remembering only trump and the play  of the eight aces.
  2. If you can’t remember the number of trumps up to the time the stock is exhausted, let me suggest you try practicing with a game I invented called Teeko.  In this game the pieces played are out in the open, so that it is possible to check on your memory of what’s happened.
  3. Don’t count the trump cards you hold just the trumps played.
  4. And don’t count your aces just the aces played to tricks.
  5. After you’ve learned to run an accurate count on these cards, you’re over the hump: Your memory knows what you expect of it.  Now add another suit to the cards you’re  trying to remember.
  6. Don’t get discouraged if a card or so slips your memory in actual play.  Some of the world’s greatest Bridge players confess they’ve muffed hands because  they simply couldn’t count up to thirteen.  The job you’ve assigned yourself is harder than that.
  7. But don’t take the easy way out and say this is too hard for any mortal man. I know a little girl five years old who can remember every card played at gin rummy poker .  She’s no genius she just taught herself  that this is one of the things people do.
  8. Keep trying.  One of these days you’ll find that of course you remember the cards.  “Doesn’t everybody?” you’ll add, surprised.

Melding.  One of the most important aspects of two-handed Pinochle is knowing when and how to meld.  Example: if a player holds a flush in trump early in the game, it is obviously advisable to meld the marriage in trump first.  Upon winning a later trick, the ace, jack , and ten  of trumps are laid down for a flush.  Thus the player runs up credit for 190 points.  But, let’s consider a later stage of the game.  Let’s assume the stock has only about six cards left and that the player doesn’t hold the extra ace and ten of trumps.  Now it is advisable  to lay the flush at once and get credit for the 150 points forthwith.  Otherwise, the player may not be able  to meld the flush if his opponent prevents him from taking another trick.
            Experience is the best guide as to when and what to meld.  A consistently profitable strategy which I cannot emphasize too strongly is sacrificing (as cheaply as possible) the first few tricks to one’s opponent and then trying  to win the last few tricks.  The possibilities of melding are enhanced towards the end of a hand, because the player has had access to more cards.  But the value of this line of play is variable too, and must be judged hand by hand after careful assessment of the possibilities in the particular holding.  Also, in the later stages of the hand, it becomes important that the player try to prevent his opponent  from melding, particularly if his observation of the cards played indicates the possibility of the opponent’s making a flush, 100 aces, or some other high-value meld.

Counting. Keep a count of the points made in tricks, as you go.  This is very important in the later stages of the play of the hand.  it is a crucial factor when you play the variety of two-handed Pinochle that scores each hand as a separate game.

What to Save.  Nobody can state a rule on this point.  The judgment in each case depends on the particular hand.  but remember this: You can’t save everything.  You can’t hold possibilities for aces, kings, a flush, and so on.  consider the chances and the relative advantages as the hand develops.  If you have a lot to meld in your hand, it may be better for you to break up your three aces and take tricks with them, rather than risk being unable to complete all the melds you already have.  This is especially true when you take your opponent’s tens with your aces.

Some Finer  Points.  Sound card play consists of handling  intelligently the cards you’re most apt to get.  You learn that play not from made-up problems or erudite puzzles but from practice, from poker experience from playing.  However, here are a few tips that might help almost anyone:

  1. Try to hold back a few high trump cards to be used, if necessary, when the stock runs low.
  2. If  you hold duplicate cards and have melded one of them, always play to the trick the card that has been melded.  Example: You have melded a marriage in hearts.  You have the other queen of hearts in yours hand.  Now, if you playa heart queen to a trick, play the one from the melded marriage on the board.
  3. If you have 100 aces, meld them at your first opportunity. Melded, they are much more potent in the play than they would be in  your hand.  you hesitate to play an unmelded ace to a trick.  This reluctance, with its inevitable effect on your4 timing, might be crucial in the development of the hand.  meld’em and use ‘em!
  4. When leading to a trick, it is generally sound to play a card from your long suit- provided that isn’t your trump suit.  Ordinarily the ten-spot of the long suit is the soundest lead, because rarely will your opponent play on it the ace of that suit if he has it.  And even if he does play his ace (unless he holds the duplicate, paired ace), he has sacrificed a chance of melding 100 aces.  If he trumps your ten with a trump card whose duplicate you hold, he has thrown away his chance of making a flush.  If your opponent does play an ace on your ten, you’d better assume he has the other ace-unless it’s in your own hand



Pinochle many Variations

Pinochle many Variations
Two-Handed Pinochle
Two-Handed Doubling Redoubling
Auction pinochle
Strategy at Auction
CAD found
Partnership Auction
Auction pinochle without wido Individual play
Partnership Aeroplane Pinochle
Radio Partnership Pinochle

Other Members of the Bezique Family

The Bezique Family
Rubicon bezique
Two-handed sixty-six
Two-handed piquet
Boo-Ray or BOURÉ

The Big Euchre Family

The big euchre family
Strategy of euchre
Auction euchre
Table of scoring points
Spoil five
Double hasenpfeffer
Three-card loo

The Heart Group

Heart Group
Spot Hearts
Black Widow Hearts

The All-Fours Group

All-Fours Group
Shasta Sam
Auction Pitch Joker

Banking Card Games

Banking Card Games
Black Jack, casino Style
Black Jack Strategy
CHEMIN DE PER must play
Baccarat Banque
Faro or farobank
Banker and broker
Red Dogs

Card craps

The Stops Games

Stops Game

Skarney® and How It Is Played

Skarney® and How It Is Played
Alternate Skarney
Skarney Singles
Skarney Gin Doubles

Cheating at Card Games

Cheating at Card Games
Professional Card Cheats
Nullifying the Cut
The Peek
How to Shuffle Cards

Dice and their Many Games

Dice and their Many Games
The Casino Game: Bank Craps
English Hazard
Double Cameroon
Partnership Straight scarney Dice
Scarney Duplicate Jackpots
Scarney Chemin de Fer
Applying All Card Games Poker

Games Requiring Special Equipment

Hasami Shogi
Follow The Arrow

Lottery and Guessing Games

Lottery guessing game
Tossing Game
Race Horse Keno
The match Game

Glossary of Game Terms


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